The New York Yankees may be the biggest winners when Major League Baseball inevitably announces that it has suspended Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod, who has two bad hips and a quad that may or may not be lame, is currently playing under one of the worst contracts in all of sports. The Yankees still owe him $86 million and have nothing to show for it, but Rodriguez’s involvement in Biogenesis could absolve them of some of that burden.
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter thinks that is bogus.
“If Bud (Selig) lets them get away with that, they’re under the luxury tax,” Showalter told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.
“They’re the ones who signed him to that contract.”
Showalter simply said what a lot of people were already thinking. If A-Rod continues to push back against MLB and they somehow manage to ban him from baseball for life, the Yankees are completely off the hook. If he agrees to a suspension settlement (which appears more likely at the moment), he could be out for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014. Either situation would greatly benefit the Yankees.
A-Rod is owed $25 million next season, and New York has made it known they would love to get under the $189 million luxury tax mark. It would be much easier to get under that number if A-Rod is suspended for all or even a large portion of next season, because the Yankees would not be required to pay him. That would make it easier to re-sign Robinson Cano and go after other free agents like — as Showalter mentioned — Orioles catcher Matt Wieters.
The problem is there is likely nothing MLB can do about it. The Yankees will not have to pay A-Rod during his suspension just as the Milwaukee Brewers don’t have to pay Braun. New York knew the risks involved with signing Rodriguez to a 10-year, $275 million contract, especially considering he admitted to using steroids with the Texas Rangers roughly a decade ago. And now, because Rodriguez has opted to continue living the life of a fraud, the Yankees could end up huge scoring big time.